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When the skies are grey, and the air is chilly, I crank up the music (and the thermostat) and turn to a comforting dinner of cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken and bacon to warm my soul.

Low carb spaghetti squash boats with chicken, bacon, mozzarella, spinach, and garlic.

Is the weather a dominant topic of conversation where you live too?

It comes up often in Wisconsin. I wonder if people in California or Florida talk about the weather with the same frequency?

Can you bond over pleasant temps and abundant sunshine the way you can over frigid air and permaclouds?

While I can’t give you that answer, I can say with certainty that, no matter the temperature and region, we can all unite around simple, delicious weeknight dinners such as these spaghetti squash boats with chicken and bacon (or one of these other healthy baked casserole recipes).

They’re comforting enough for a cold Wisconsin night while being healthy enough to be appropriate for a lighter evening meal (just like this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna).

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese sprinkled with basil

5 Star Review

“My family loved it! We’ll be making it again.”

— Carolyn —

How to Make Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken

These spaghetti squash boats with chicken and bacon remind me of chicken Alfredo, without the heaviness and excess (unless it’s my healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake). They are creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, but (unlike chicken Alfredo) they are well-balanced and won’t send you into a total food coma afterward.


The Ingredients

  • Spaghetti Squash. Instead of pasta, these spaghetti squash boats rely on the roasted spaghetti squash itself (like this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna), which shreds into thin, noodle-like strands.
  • Greek Yogurt. Replaces Alfredo’s signature heavy cream for a protein-packed healthy swap (also used in my favorite healthy Turkey Tetrazzini).
  • Chicken. Lean and juicy chicken breasts deliver protein without excess fat (however if you prefer dark meat, feel free to swap for thighs.
  • Garlic. Adds some zippy Italian flair.
  • Spinach. A handful of sautéed greens gives the dish beautiful color and an extra serving of veg.
  • Bacon. Keep things from becoming *too* virtuous (we are still going for comfort food, after all). I love the way the crunchy pieces contrast with the creamy Greek yogurt and tender chicken (similar to this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole).
  • Mozzarella. Because cheese is love. It gets mixed right in with the other “stuffing” ingredients and then melted on top too for good measure.
Easy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Bacon, Chicken, and Cheese.

The Directions

  1. Roast the spaghetti squash according to this recipe for Roasted Spaghetti Squash.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Cook the chicken in 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Toss in the spinach. Stir until wilted, then add the Greek yogurt, basil, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Remove from heat.
  5. Use a fork to shred the spaghetti squash, keeping it in each squash half.
  6. Divide the chicken filling among the boats, and gently mix it into the shredded squash.
  7. Sprinkle with bacon and remaining mozzarella cheese, then bake until the cheesy is bubbly. ENJOY!

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. The squash can be roasted and “shredded” up to 1 day in advance. The entire dish can be assembled up to 1 day in advance as well. Bake as directed just before serving.
  • To Store. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat in the oven or gently in the microwave until hot.
  • To Freeze. I do not recommend freezing, as the spaghetti squash will become mushy.
Healthy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? I hope it’s as pleasant and lovely as these easy spaghetti squash boats with chicken!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Spaghetti Squash Boats Gluten Free?

Yes, the recipe for these spaghetti squash boats with chicken, as it is written, is entirely gluten free.

Can I Make Spaghetti Squash Boats with Ground Turkey?

I have not tried this particular recipe with ground turkey, however, I think it would be a wonderful swap for the chicken (see these Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats). Simple brown the turkey until cooked through and then finish preparing as directed in the recipe.

How Can I Make Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Boats?

For a vegetarian version, you can omit the chicken and bacon (or swap them for a plant-based alternative). Then, load up on your favorite veggies. Roasted red peppers, portabello mushrooms, or roasted eggplant would all be lovely in this recipe. (These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are another great “stuffed” vegetarian entree to try.)

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken

4.84 from 36 votes
These easy and healthy spaghetti squash boats are stuffed with creamy chicken, bacon, spinach, and cheese. A comforting low carb recipe!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Roasted Squash

For the Stuffing

  • 4 strips thick-sliced center-cut bacon roughly chopped
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups baby spinach torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil plus additional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the spaghetti squash according to this recipe for Roasted Spaghetti Squash. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered; about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry.
  • Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and season with garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, then add the spinach. Stir the chicken and spinach together until the spinach wilts, then stir in the Greek yogurt, half of the mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  • Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred and fluff the inside flesh so it's no longer attached to the walls and makes a "nest."
  • Divide the chicken filling evenly among the boats, using a fork to lightly mix it with the spaghetti squash. Arrange the stuffed squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the reserved bacon and remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake until the cheesy is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve hot, sprinkled with additional fresh basil.

Notes

  • MAKE-AHEAD: The squash can be roasted and “shredded” up to 1 day in advance. The entire dish can be assembled up to 1 day in advance as well. Bake as directed just before serving.
  • TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm in the oven or gently in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing, as the spaghetti squash will become mushy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 538kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 42gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgPotassium: 1166mgFiber: 8gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 2223IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 383mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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4.84 from 36 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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64 Comments

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  1. My daughter and I were just talking about spaghetti squash! the last time I made it was sometime in the 90’s! Clearly this recipe is my spaghetti squash intervention! I do remember thinking that spaghetti squash had a very sweet taste which marinara sauce (imho) didn’t complement. This version seems to have enough savory components to balance out the sweetness. Do you ever remove any of the squash and save it for a later recipe? 

    1. Hi Marina, I don’t usually remove any of the squash—I just enjoy the whole thing! You are welcome to remove some if you prefer. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you do decide to give it a try!

      1. Hi Ashley, I would suggest using fresh garlic if you don’t have garlic powder. Garlic has a pretty unique taste, and it does add a lot to the recipe, so I would try to find a way to work it in if you can!

  2. I tried his recipe tonight! It turned out great. It’s renewed my appreciation and love of spaghetti squash. Hoping to cook more with it from now on. Even my husband liked this healthy dish! Thanks!!5 stars

  3. Made it today as part of my meal prep for lunch this week and I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy it.

    It was my first time trying spaghetti squash, and I was flummoxed by the hard shell for a bit before Google showed me the microwave trick. But once I actually managed to halve the squash, this recipe was low-prep. And as a low-calorie, high protein meal it fits so well in my diet. Thank you, Erin!4 stars

  4. AMAZING!! So good and everyone loved them. I don’t think I have ever liked so many recipes on one site. Thank you! 5 stars

    1. YAY Mollie! I’m so happy to hear everyone loved the recipe. Thanks so much for reporting back and for the kind words about my recipes! I truly appreciate it.

  5. Wanted to tell you that I wanted to make this but was missing a few ingredients…so figured I’d just wing it. I had a small butternut squash that I roasted and scooped out. Then I fried the bacon till crisp, added the chicken and cooked till slightly browned. I did not have any spinach or yogurt/sour cream so what I did was add some salt, pepper,onion flakes, shredded mozzarella and dried basil. I dumped it all into a small casserole dish, added a little more cheese and baked it till bubbly. Oh my goodness – was it ever good. I was making something different for my husband anyway so the timing was perfect. Thanks for this recipe and I’m glad that I experimented with it.4 stars

  6. Erin,
    I made this recipe and changed assembly a bit.
    After I baked the squash, I removed all the tasty
    spaghetti squash and reserved it while I put together the rest of the recipe. I initially misread your directions but it didn’t matter.
    I added the reserved squash into the rest of the ingredients in the skillet and then stuffed and baked.
    This recipe is as delicious as it looks!!
    Thank you,
    Jane Warren 5 stars

    1. Hi Jane! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe and that it all worked out in the end! Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out.

  7. Erin, we had these for dinner tonight, and they were delicious.  Definite comfort food, and definitely a keeper recipe.  The time on baking the squash was right on for getting them to come out perfectly.  I’m really glad I put them on the menu this week.5 stars

    1. That’s great, Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know how it went!

  8. Wow! This was absolutely delicious! I’ve been trying to cook healthier and have been using many of your recipes.5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you liked it, Lisa! Thank you for giving the recipe a try and leaving this feedback—I truly appreciate hearing that you’ve been trying and enjoying my recipes!

    1. You’re welcome, Kerry! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  9. My friend and iI both wanted to try Spaghett Squash. We made this last week and we loved it! Our men were very pleased with it. They want us to make I t again very soon. Thanks for sharing.4 stars

  10. I made this tonight for dinner. Everyone in my family really liked it!  My husband is trying to lose weight so this recipe was perfect!5 stars

    1. Renee, I’m happy to hear this recipe was a success! I truly appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice review.

  11. This is healthy comfort food! I halved the recipe–easy to do–because I had one spaghetti squash and just two of us. This is easy and delicious. If I make it again, I will follow another commenter’s lead and scoop the squash out, mix it with the other ingredients, and stuff everything back into the shells. Thanks for a great fall dish, Erin. 5 stars

    1. Eileen, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for giving it a try and taking the time to report back.

  12. This looks scrumptious! I am so excited to try it. I don’t have Greek yogurt/sour cream. Could I use ranch dressing?

    1. Hi Madison! Ranch dressing is much more liquidy/oily, so unfortunately, I can’t recommend that swap! I know that’s not the answer you were hoping for, but I want the recipe to turn out for you.

  13. So easy to make and so delicious! We also added mushrooms! Will definitely be a regular meal in our house. Thanks Erin!5 stars

  14. I’m making this for dinner tonight. I can’t find in the recipe where you add the basil other than garnish. Please help.

  15. OMG!!  Made this tonight for supper.  We ate it before we could take a picture oooops!  We halved the recipe and only had one strip of bacon left from breakfast (don’t ask why we ended up with only one strip left lol) but one strip bacon for one spaghetti squash was still enough.  It was amazing!  My sister doesn’t really enjoy the thought of spaghetti squash but tonight’s dinner has changed her mind and this is a keeper and will be made again and again and again!  Accidentally used plain yogurt instead of greek and it wasn’t as runny as I thought it would be.  I can’t wait to make this again and add mushrooms like was mentioned above.  The flavour combination was spectacular!  We had it with a simple salad.  Absolutely love this recipe!!  Recipe printed and saved for a future supper!  5 stars

  16. A recipe enjoyed by everyone I serve it to ;) I love how spaghetti squash can be served to even picky eaters. Especially due to the delicious flavors the sauce and the bacon gives to the whole meal, there are no complaints and the happy eaters even take seconds!
    The first time making, we didn’t have baby spinach and instead used frozen creamed spinach and it was also very delicious.5 stars

  17. I made this last night and it was fantastic. I added some crushed red pepper and extra basil because we like things spicy. I also added a can of drained Italian tomatoes. This is definitely a keeper. I already printed and added it into my binder of recipes that I make regularly. Thanks for the great recipe:)5 stars

  18. My family loved it! We’ll be making it again. While there were a lot of steps they could be done quickly and after the squash cooked, all at once.5 stars

  19. Hi, thanks for the recipe! I decided to use a  lasagna pan instead of the Spaghetti squash shells and although it tastes  pretty good it is not as visually pleasing. Also the pan I used  spread the cheese too thin so it never quite bubbled.  I added mushrooms like a previous reviewer suggested and  sautéed onions    I also prepared the chicken on a grill pan for extra flavor and char. It took me a while to prepare so I’m not sure I will attempt this on a weeknight again but overall very good dish.  I appreciate your creativity and incorporating squash. Thanks again! 4 stars

      1. I had some already cooked but frozen chicken breasts and already seasoned, added bacon, mushrooms and onions sauteed it added the spinach and yogurt and put my spaghetti squash in a pan and added it all together with mozzarella. Will be adding this to the low fat list5 stars

  20. I laugh when people say “I made your recipe,” and then change it all up, but this is me today. I was looking for a spaghetti squash recipe and found this. I went to the store to get the ingredients but could not for the life of me find a small carton of plain yogurt! I decided to leave it out.  I roasted the squash while I raked the final leaves from my yard and then came in to make dinner. I forgot to get the chicken from the freezer so decided to use shrimp. I also added mushrooms. It turned our delicious!  So the basic recipe was yours, with no yogurt, added shrimp and mushrooms. ? Yummy! 5 stars

  21. My husband hates vegetables, and alfredo. (I adore both) I made this before we sold the house & moved in to a 35’ camper full time. Never expecting him to try it, he ate half the squash!! It’s a hit, and is quick & easy to whip up in limited space. A delicious favorite of us both!! Thank you for posting it!5 stars

  22. My son is autistic and adhd. He has suffered from sensory issues since he was 3. Food has been a constant battle for years. I started food chaining about 4-5 years ago and now he’s 9, he has become so much more adventurous and all of the hard work has paid off! He saw your recipe online and said hey mom let’s try this! So I made it, no spinach, we’re not there yet, and he LOVED it. This was the first time he had ever tried spaghetti squash. Even my husband who has always said he hates spaghetti squash said he loved it and asked me to make it again. Thank you so much for this recipe. It will be a weekly meal in our home and it will help introduce newer and healthier foods as we continue food chaining and overcoming all of his sensory challenges. ❤️5 stars

  23. Delicious but I altered it somewhat. I used peameal bacon, more spinach, and added pesto only for topping seasoning.I served it to someone not keen on veggies and he loved it.5 stars

  24. I love your recipes and often default to you over other with more reviews. This one didn’t really didn’t do it for me, it was really liquid when done and kind of bland. Could be that all my veg are fresh from the garden? I added hot pepper flakes to chicken mixture but didn’t really help.
    Your method of cooking spaghetti squash for a shorter period is perfect though, I do it that way all of the time. Thanks!4 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Kaydubb. The amounts and flavorings worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too!